Renowned Saskatchewan sculptor honoured on 2012 stamps dies at age 76

Iconic Canadian sculptor Joe Fafard died at his home in Lumsden, Sask., in the early morning hours of March 16.

A recipient of the Order of Canada as well as the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Fafard had his work commemorated on three stamps and an official first-day cover (OFDC) issued by Canada Post in 2012.

The “Art Canada” issue showcased a variety of Fafard’s oeuvre, including his popular bovine sculpture Smoothly She Shifted; another sculpture, Dear Vincent, depicting a sitting Vincent van Gogh; and a racing trio of laser-cut steel and bronze horses known as Capillary. The OFDC shows Fancy, a detailed charcoal drawing of a horse.

A racing trio of laser-cut steel and bronze horses known as ‘Capillary’ was also featured as part of the 2012 ‘Art Canada’ issue.

“This series on the sculpture of Joe Fafard provided an additional challenge: first, to select three flagship works representative of the artist’s versatility; then, to present the three works from the right angle-of-view, to capture the essence of the three images while allowing them to coexist on the souvenir sheet,” said stamp designer Hélène L’Heureux.

Fafard was 76 years old when he succumbed to stomach cancer, according to a written statement released by his family shortly after his death.

Fafard’s ‘Dear Vincent’ sculpture depicts a sitting Vincent van Gogh.

“Joe died the way he lived, simply, unpretentiously, in complete serenity, with a twinkle in his eye, but above all with the full love of his family and friends,” wrote his partner Alyce Hamon.

Fafard’s family will hold a private ceremony to celebrate his life with a public ceremony to be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, his family is encouraging people to donate to the Hospitals of Regina Foundation’s palliative care services in Fafard’s memory.

BORN IN 1942

Fafard was born in the small farming community of Ste. Marthe, Sask., on Sept. 2, 1942.

His rural upbringing inspired much of his work depicting farm life.

In 2011, two of his works sold at a Sotheby’s Canada auction: a painted bronze piece, The Inventor and His Invention, brought $48,000 while a bronze and glass piece, Table with Hare, brought $21,600.

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